The high rate of jobless Mallams today in both the rural and urban areas is worrisome. Some of them have deprived themselves from physical work since they have become Imams/Mallams.
Those types of Mallams are seen in the Mosque sitting, teaching Quran to the “Al-Majirai” while others gives unrefined Islamic verdicts (I.e. Fatawa) with the aim to source for funds. As such, they disguise with such acts, which has made them to become an idle mind whom depend on solicitation.
They usually solicit funds from youths and some elderly people in the society. In other words, some of them solicit from politicians which made most of them to loss their dignity, and therefore becomes Political Mallams. Such acts have affected many Mosque pulpits, which have become an avenue for campaigning for certain politician indirectly or to exchange unpleasant words to other Mallams whom they shared different view with. Such acts of those Mallams coupled with their hate speeches causes division among people and generate furore in the society.
The root of this problem is joblessness. It is said that, “Joblessness is a disease that kills mental, intellectual and physical capabilities.” As such, Islam urges its followers to try to earn a lawful livelihood. In other words, Islam makes it obligatory for its followers to earn lawfully and forbid begging.
The Quran 25: V20 stated that all the prophets of Allah engaged in commerce as lawful means of livelihood.
It was stated in one tradition that an Ansari (a local inhabitant of Madina) came to the Prophet (P.B.U.H) gathering and ask for alms. The Prophet asked him to go and fetch what he had with him. The man brought a thick sheet of cloth which the Prophet sold. Then, the Prophet gave him the money and asked him to feed himself. The man did so accordingly and came back to the Prophet with an axe. Then, the Prophet himself fixed a handle to the axe and then said to the man who brought it “Go and cut the wood and sell it, and listen, I don’t want to see you for fifteen days.” The man left for that period and continued with sales of firewood. During the period of the sales, he made some quite good fortune and became financially stable. He came back later to the Prophet to express his gratitude, the Prophet said to him, “This is much better for you than the stain of begging on your face with which you would have arisen on the Day of Judgment and presented yourself to Allah.”
Therefore, the above tradition shows that the Prophet placed more emphasis on dignity of labour and abhor begging. The prophet is the perfect exemplary for the Muslims. Therefore, it is mandatory for whosoever follows his teaching to engage in a lawful and physical handiwork which will make life easier for him or her.
Therefore, it has become necessary for the National Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs to nip such Mallams act in the bud. They should equally use their authority to call those Mallams to order and encourage them to engage in lawful earning and desist from begging and discourage their students from undignifying acts
The Religious Preaching Board should equally screen and register Imams before allowing them to lead prayers or teach the younger ones Islamic Education. They should ensure that those scholars have an independent work that they do. They should enact a law that will sanction any scholar that turn Imamship into a business or violate their law.
—- Hassan writes from Bayero University, Kano.